Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Scryer's Gulch Episodes 1-10
Author: MeiLin Miranda
Genre: Western Paranormal Soap Opera
How long it's been on sale: 2-2010
Current price: $.99
Total sold so far: 41 in the last 5 months.
Link to book on Amazon: Scryer's Gulch: Magic in the Wild, Wild West - Episodes 1-10 Annabelle Arrives
Brave and beautiful young Treasury agent Annabelle Duniway is sent undercover to the wide-open mining town of Scryer's Gulch to track down the villain poisoning the magic-boosting ore known as hermetauxite. If she doesn't succeed, this unscrupulous evildoer may take over the world!
Is it the brilliant and handsome son of the mayor? Or the ruthless mine owner? How about his gold-digging wife? Or worse, could it be the rugged sheriff Annabelle yearns to trust with her mission--and maybe, her heart? The only one she can trust is her demon cat, Misi, even though he threatens to kill her at least once a day.
First 300 Words:
With all the money pouring in and out of it, you’d think Scryer’s Gulch would be more scenic. It’s still no looker, but in the early days it hunkered down and at the same time sprawled in its valley like a cold sore, crouching near a gaping, toothless mouth that swallowed up men and spit out the ore that gave the town both its name and its fortune. I’m speaking, of course, of hermetauxite, without which little that we call modern life would be possible.
So much of it veins the Big Blavatsky Mine that, for example, anyone with any scrying talent at all can look into a glass of water, a mirror, a candle flame, the odd crystal ball, a shiny window, and catch a glimpse of the future. Anyone with a measure of telekinetic power can bend a spoon a little. That sorta thing. The original inhabitants of this land of ours were strangely absent from the area, odd considering its rich supply of wildlife, but they were wiser than we are, or perhaps just less greedy: living so close to that much hermetauxite eventually drives folks crazy.
But I digress.
Perhaps I’m not being fair when I say Scryer’s Gulch in those days was a cold sore, a carbuncle on the surface of the earth, a muck pit lined with hastily thrown-up buildings of questionable architectural provenance filled with humans of questionable parentage. There were a few beauties: the arrestingly ostentatious bulk of Jedediah Bonham’s mansion, built with the proceeds of the mine; the spun sugar and gilt Hotel LeFay, with all the most modern conveniences Bonham’s son Anthony could provide his guests; and the opulent Mamzelle’s Palace, whose beauties were on the inside--a good thing, considering they were barely dressed and likely to cause riots were they actually on the outside.
Vicki's Comments: The first thing I do with a book is look at the cover. This cover confused me. I think that's a moon on it, but I can't tell what else is on the cover. I think there's a picture in the moon, but I can't see exactly what it is. It looks like rocks and grass at the bottom, but it was hard to see and probably wouldn't be legible in thumbnail form. I would suggest a redesign.
Description: I felt the description could use some work. How does a person poison ore? It's a rock. I also think some of the phrasing is a bit over the top. I think with some tweaking, it could work much better.
The first 300 words weren't very interesting to me, but I tend to like a story to start without buildup. I'm not a fan of back story in the first chapter. I'd rather the back story come out organically as the story progresses. But I do realize I'm probably not the target audience for this book.
I also think this might have a bit of a genre issue. It seems like it crosses some lines that readers just might not be willing to cross. When looking at the tags and the description to try to come up with the genre I saw that it's a western soap opera with paranormal and fantasy elements, and a mystery thrown in too. As someone who puts together a few different genres in my own work, I totally sympathize with this. However, I think this might be one of the major reasons this isn't selling. I would focus on the core genre of this book and cut out some of the other aspects in the description in order to appeal to an audience.
What do you guys think?